Saturday, May 7

From Search to Knowledge at Google

Techcrunch reports that Search as high-level product group in Google no longer exists. As part of Google's re-org under new CEO Larry Page, the search group has been renamed the "Knowledge Group". Search Engine Land is reporting on the promotion of Alan Eustace from the SVP of Engineering and Research to Google’s Senior Vice President, Knowledge. My understanding is that this represents an expanded view of the products in search. Beyond helping people find information, the group's goals include,
... enhancing people’s understanding and facilitating the creation of knowledge.
Although all the details are not public, it sounds as if Udi Manber leads the engineering team on information products that are not core search. The details are speculation on my part, but his responsibilities may include products like Knol, Freebase, and Aardvark. It might also include some of Google's data management tools: Google Refine, Fusion Tables, and Public Data Explorer.

Does this mean that search is no longer a "core" product at Google? I don't think so. Instead, it indicates an astute awareness that search needs to be tied to other projects that manage information - social QA, Wikipedia-like knowledge bases, structured data, and other information tools.

In the academic world, we should also consider information retrieval in the context of tools and communities that create and share information: digital libraries, NLP, information (and relation) extraction, and the semantic web. These are all inter-connected components of the information processing and knowledge management ecosystem. As Google's re-org to create a "Knowledge" team indicates, these communities need to communicate and coordinate effectively towards a broader vision of helping people find, create, analyze, and share information.


1 comment:

  1. I think it's only appropriate that they have re-branded that group as Knowledge Group because they obviously run on tasks that do more than just search a key or term. What Google has effectively done is more on the long term digital preservation of data into a knowledge database.

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